If you want to stop robocalls the easy way, don’t hang up as advised by the FTC. The best way to stop robocalls is to follow these easy steps and make the robocaller pay you up to $1500.00 per illegal call.
Get on the Do-Not-Call Registry
First, get your number on the do-not-call registry. No, it won’t stop all robocalls but it will stop most. Inclusion on the do not call list also has the added benefit of making it illegal to call you. That is important for your future efforts to stop the calls.
Tell the Caller to Stop Calling
Most robocalls are, by definition, made by an automated system so you are unlikely to get a person on the phone. If you do get a live person tell them to stop calling you. If the robocalls are coming to your cell phone tell the caller that you do not give permission to call your cell phone and to stop calling it. Telling the robocaller to stop calling you is an important step in getting the calls to stop so keep good notes for later use.
Also, never push any buttons during a robocall. Pushing any buttons at all will trigger more robocalls because it tells the telemarketer that a live person will answer the phone at that number. It is very important that you don’t push any buttons.
Record the Robocalls
If it is legal in your state you should record the robocalls. Obviously, this means that hanging up as the FTC recommends is a very bad idea. The reason you should record the calls instead of hanging up is because you want evidence against the robocaller. An audio recording is important proof that the call occurred and was actually a robocall. If you hang up you don’t get this important proof.
Take Notes of Each Robocall
Take good written notes. Note every robocall by date, time, caller ID information, company name, and the names of anyone you eventually speak with. These notes are critical to your future efforts to stop the robocalls. Feel free to use my Collection Communications Log to keep track of the unwanted robocalls.
Photograph the Caller ID
After the call ends take a picture of the caller ID. This too is important proof that the call occurred. For smart phones you can find a screen capture app if you prefer a screenshot rather than a photograph. The screenshot or picture can also serve as proof that the caller spoofed, or in other words, altered the caller ID information. Falsifying the caller ID is just as unlawful as making the call in the first place.
Obtain Phone Records
When you get your monthly phone bill preserve the records. This is evidence of the calls as it shows the date, time, and number from which the caller dialed. You need this proof to properly stop robocalls.
Call a Consumer Rights Attorney
Perhaps the most important step to stop robocalls is to call a consumer protection attorney. He can advise you on the appropriate steps to take to preserve your rights and to preserve the evidence you need to prove your case. And yes, in many cases you will need to sue to properly stop robocalls. Anything less is insufficient to stop the more unscrupulous telemarketing companies. The good news is that suing a telemarketer can result in an award of as much as $1500.00 for each illegal call.
Take the steps above if you want to stop robocalls. Prepare and preserve your evidence and get a lawyer. If you simply hang up as the FTC suggests you have done nothing to stop robocalls. Suing, on the other hand, will stop at least one robocaller from ever bothering you again and in many cases can actually stop others as well.